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Old 09-22-2006, 01:07 AM   #1
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QT first fish for an empty tank?

I need some opinions...

I'm just starting up a 46 gallon with 62lbs of cured live rock. I had intended to cycle my QT and have my first fish quarantined while my main tank was cycling. Due to adding waaaaay tooooo much shrimp and spiking my ammonia too high in my QT, that cycle is really slow. The QT is now 0 ammonia/5-6ppm nitrite/30+ppm nitrate and the diatoms have showed up! Think I'm near the end on that one.

Last weekend I put the CURED live rock in my 46 gallon and started that up. Due to my bad shrimp experience with my QT, and the fact that the LR is cured, I decided to throw in just a bit of pellet fish food to the main to feed whatever bacteria is already on the rock. I expected to see some ammonia/nitrite show up, but nothing so far. BUT, my nitrates are up to around 10ppm and diatoms showed up this afternoon like crazy! All water parameters were at 0ppm before the live rock went in.

Now the questions...

1. With the quantity of cured live rock in there, am I cycled already? Seems like it since I threw in some fish food and now have some detectable nitrates and diatoms.

2. If I am cycled, or nearing the end, it looks like my main will be done before my QT is cycled! If that's the case, should I just put my first fish (O. Clown) in the main instead of the QT so I don't have to "feed" an empty tank for a month? I know that if I come down with ich, I'll have to put the fish in the QT anyway, and let the main sit empty for 6 weeks. But it seems like if I put the fish in the QT (whenever it decided it's done!) I'll have the main sit empty for 4+ weeks anyway. I'm sittin' on the fence and can't decide!

The diatoms surprised me today. They showed up way earlier than I thought. A nice surprise as I was coming home with my bottle of "Aiptasia Control" for the two little buggers that have sprouted up only 4 days after the live rock went in. I can not believe the things that stay alive on this rock after all it goes through! Truly amazing.

Thanks in advance,
Kurt
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:34 AM   #2
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Hmmm. It certainly sounds like there was a very fast or very small cycle in your main. I think, if you have diatoms and only nitrAtes in the main, you might be good to go.
Quote:
so I don't have to "feed" an empty tank for a month?
What about working on a clean up crew for your main.
I would wait for the QT to cycle, to put your first finsh in there, you can never be too safe. I would hate for your brand new tank to suffer.
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Old 09-22-2006, 11:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by roka64
I would hate for your brand new tank to suffer.
So would I!

Thanks for the input. Deep down, I know doing the QT for even the first fish is the safest way to go. I guess I'm just getting a little anxious.

Regarding the cleanup crew though... I was originally planning on quarantining them also - just to be safe - so they were going to go in with the first fish. (I was going to buy and QT them with the fish.) But now that I think about it, if I just acclimate them to the main tank, and even if ich does come in on them, the main tank will be empty for 4 weeks while the first fish is in the QT anyway. So in the rare instance the snails/crabs did bring a parasite in, it'd probably be gone by the time the fish got in there anyway... correct?
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:27 PM   #4
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I imagine it is possible for ich to be on an invert, but I think the possibility is very slim to almost none. Ich will attach to a fish, drop off and reproduce, then swim in the water until it finds another host. I don't QT my inverts, BUT I do drip acclimate them for at least 2 hours. I takes them a lot longer to adjust to a change in water parameters.
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